A real life journey of discovery as three girls wrestle adolescence in pursuit of Olympic history.
QUEENS OF CONCRETE is a coming-of-age documentary, following three young skateboarders over five years. Hayley, Ava and Charlotte have their sights firmly fixed on competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics – the first ever Games to hold a skateboarding event. With just a few spots available on the Australian Olympic team, the pressure to impress the Olympic Committee is huge.
At the same time, the girls face the familiar obstacles of teen years. Charlotte is constantly told she’s too young to do anything, Ava tests her freedom with or without her parent’s permission, and Hayley already feels the weight of past success on her shoulders.
Through all this the girls are continually reminded that they participate in a male dominated sport, and must continue to defy tradition in order to achieve their Olympic dreams.
Each girl will take a different journey over the five year period. Where will it take them and who will they be at the end?
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
QUEENS OF CONCRETE is as much a coming-of-age story as it is an impact film to a shine light on female empowerment through sport. It examines the underrepresentation of women in the skateboarding community however, as we’re following three young girls of different ages over five years, the subtext explores how these girls navigate their adolescence and gender identity in a male dominated culture.
Equality does not exist for women in sport. The resulting lack of female participation has become a target of several current federal and state government campaigns designed to engage women in physical activity. Critically, the benefits of physical activity include increased mental and physical wellbeing, but also empowerment through competition especially.
QUEENS OF CONCRETE is targeting philanthropic foundations which are seeking to promote representation of women in sport. More widely, it is targeted to those who simply want representation of empowered women and female strength on screen.
Additionally, this film will promote skateboarding as an accessible sport; driving the message that – all you need is a skateboard and some concrete. Due to this, skateboarding is used to engage disadvantaged youth all over the world. Due to this we hope to appeal to philanthropic foundations whose mission is focused on engaging marginalised youth from a socially and economically diverse range of people.
Skateboarding emphasises the underlying message to try your best and pick yourself up when you fall down. We believe this is an extremely important message, especially for young women of different backgrounds. As we have established that skateboarding has the power to engage a diverse range of people, it is even more prevalent that skateparks are an inclusive for all.
Female issues, empowerment, competition, community and comradery are what make this film more than just a sports documentary. The girls will face barriers that must be broken in order to be seen as a legitimate skateboarder, not just a ‘girl skateboarder’.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
Research shows that women shy away from physical activity, whereas men are encouraged towards it from a young age*. By displaying young women engaged in physical activity, will contribute to the movement empowering female sport participation. The film will include rigorous Olympic training, which will incorporate tips on healthy eating and physical activity - this is something women should be engaging in.
Additionally, we want this film to put genuine pressure on the skate community to become inclusive for all. Skateboarding is portrayed as a counterculture sport where people from different backgrounds get together in an inclusive environment. However this mantra is not always exhibited in their behaviour.
This is shown, partly, by the inequality of opportunities and prize money. Tangible impact from QUEENS OF CONCRETE is to demand equal prize money for men and women.
As we aspire to engage a young female audience, we hope this film will set an example for girls to walk away feeling confident and empowered. The film is a celebration of female identity which we believe is lacking in our culture and extremely important for young women. We aim to showcase the different expressions of what it means to be a young girl and how gender can be so differently manifested. By following three girls who express their girlhood in different ways we want to send a message that no woman has to conform to either the sport they are a part of or the gender they have been assigned.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
This films purpose is largely to inspire and mobilise more women to break into seemingly male spaces, expressing their identity any way they choose. To that end this project seeks to represent empowered women on screen, specifically in sport.
Our strategy is to partner with both national and state (VIC) government campaigns like Girls Make Your Move and This Girl Can, which advocate for women to be physically active through whatever means they wish. We strive to promote and partner with these campaigns and alike.
As part of our impact goal, we are aiming to use this film to promote skateboarding as an accessible sport – we will promote initiatives like Skateistan and Boarders without Borders; these organisations believe skateboarding is a great way to engage disadvantaged and marginalised youth.
Additionally, there are several all female/gender diverse skateboarding crews, such as Girls Skate Australia, Skinshreds, DNL, to name a few. These crews were created due to the understanding that skateparks are primarily a male dominated space that are not inclusive to women. We hope to partner with and promote these skateboarding groups in order to encourage women of any age to get involved. Having a known and direct support will make it easier for women to get out there and participate. This will aid our mission to make skateparks an inclusive space.
This film will reach its audience primarily through Cinema-on-Demand, Video-on-Demand, community and educational screenings. In the education market, we will target upper primary through to middle secondary year levels. We hope this film will serve as an educational material, informing on themes such as health, physical wellbeing, mental health and female empowerment. We believe this is extremely important for young girls to be educated on these topics.